Leaders encourage rental assistance help as CDC extends pause on evictions
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Biden administration has extended a nationwide eviction moratorium for another month, giving people more time to pay rent. The pause on evictions will now end on July 31.
More than 160,000 people in South Carolina had not caught up on rent in June, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In Charleston county, where eviction rates are usually high, leaders believe the eviction moratorium is helping people stay afloat.
“We know that if there’s any place that evictions are affected during this pandemic it’s been north Charleston,” Rep. Marvin Pendarvis said. “We want to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to ensure that families are able to stay in their homes during this pandemic and do everything we can do provide some stability during uncertain times. "
Pendarvis says renters especially have been impacted by this pandemic. There are rental assistance programs in the state that are designed to help people pay rent, back rent, and utilities.
For some landlords and property managers, there are some concerns that people aren’t applying.
James McCloud is the CEO of a property management company. He says the issue goes beyond evictions because the back rent keeps growing and if tenants don’t pay it, that will show up on their credit report.
“We understand trying to make a move and prevent tenants to be evicted but the problem that lies is you still have landlords that have bills to pay. I have one tenant in particular that has a $7,000 balance that she is not making any attempt to pay it,” McCloud said.
Nick Kremydas with the South Carolina Association of Realtors says there is a big push to let people know about the kind of help that is available.
“It’s almost half a billion dollars that was allocated for South Carolina between the large counties and the state program, and it’s too much money to leave on the table when we could be helping tenants stay in their homes and helping landlords stay whole and be able to provide these properties to the tenants,” Kremydas said.
Charleston County has roughly $9 million left in their emergency rental assistance program, and they are expected to get nearly $10 million more. The application to apply can be found here.
Berkeley County has also reopened their emergency rental assistance program. The application to apply can be found here.
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